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Kremlin expects COVID-19 situation to improve further before Victory Parade

The Kremlin so far expects to invite the leaders of the CIS states to the Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square on June 24, according to the spokesman

MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. The Kremlin expects the coronavirus situation in the country to improve further before June 24 when Russia will hold the Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"Speaking about the parade, we are talking about June 24 and still there is a month ahead of this date," the Kremlin spokesman said.

‘We see that the [coronavirus] situation is developing and it is developing in Moscow as well. Moreover, a positive trend is observed. That is why, we believe that the situation will undergo further changes over a month and corresponding adjustments will be made [to the lockdown regime in Moscow]," Peskov said.

At a video conference with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War would be held on June 24 and ordered to start preparations.

The head of state explained he had chosen this date because June 24 was the day when in 1945 the legendary historic parade of victors took place, when soldiers, who fought for Moscow and defended Leningrad and Stalingrad, liberated Europe and stormed Berlin, marched on Red Square.

Putin ordered the defense minister to exclude all possible risks threatening the health of the parade participants. The president noted he decided it was possible to hold the Victory Parade considering that the situation in most Russian regions and in the Armed Forces remained stable after the country had passed the peak in the infection’s spread.

The Kremlin so far expects to invite the leaders of the CIS states to the Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square on June 24, Peskov said.

"So far, we adhere to the criteria that invitations for the heads of CIS states to the Victory Parade will be re-extended," the Kremlin spokesman said, replying to a journalists’ question about who of the foreign leaders had been invited to the event.

The Russian presidential spokesman found it difficult to say whether Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky would be among those invited to the Victory Parade.

"I told you which principle we apply [to extend the invitation]," Peskov stressed.

Initially, many foreign leaders and heads of international organizations were invited to Moscow to attend the festivities on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory, which were subsequently postponed from May 9 to a later date due to the epidemiological situation.